Feb 22, 2024

By Bob Komsic

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A 23-year-old man, convicted of murder and attempted murder after deliberately hitting five members of the Afzaal family in London and killing four of them nearly 3-years ago, has been sentenced.



The murder convictions automatically mean life in prison with no chance of parole for 25-years.

But it was up to Justice Renee Pomerance to determine if Nathaniel Veltman’s actions constituted terrorism.

”One might go so far as to characterize this as a textbook example of terrorist motive and intent … By not referring to the offender by name, and not restating his views, I am trying to reduce the potential use of these proceedings as a platform for the ideology that spawned the violent acts of June 6, 2021.”’

The judge also sentenced him to a concurrent life sentence for the attempted murder of the orphaned boy; the harshest penalty allowed under Canadian law.

Defence lawyers had asked for 10-years.

Relatives of the Afzaal family released a statement.

”Today’s sentencing has brought relief to people near and far. The terrorism designation acknowledges the hate that fuelled this fire, the ugliness that took the lives of Talat, Salman, Madiha and Yumnah. But this hate didn’t exist in a vacuum.  It thrived in the whispers, the prejudices, the normalized fear of the other…That hate hidden in plain sight was normalized by the unchallenged belief that a racial hierarchy exists in Canada,” the statement read.

It’s the first time Canada’s terrorism laws were put before a jury in a first-degree murder trial.

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